Caffeine, Friend or Foe?

Photo credit:  Nathan Dumlao

Photo credit: Nathan Dumlao

Coffee is probably the most popular source of caffeine, and it’s estimated that 95% of Americans consume caffeine from food and drinks, and their daily intake ranges from 110mg - 260mg per day.

An average cup of coffee contains between 80mg - 100mg of caffeine, and it’s recommended that adults consume no more than 400mg per day. Adolescents 12 - 18 years old should consume less than 100mg per day, and kids under age 12 should consume less (if any at all) than 2.5mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight.

Caffeine Pros

Caffeine Cons

Caffeine metabolism (how your body breaks it down and gets rid of it)

Caffeine affects everyone differently. That’s because your biochemistry is as unique as your fingerprint. Some people don’t feel the effects of caffeine. This might be you if you’re one of those folks that can have coffee after dinner and sleep just fine.

Or, if you’re like me, the caffeine in dark chocolate is enough to cause insomnia, anxiety and nausea! If this is the case for you too, it means you are a low acetylator. That means you detox more slowly (through your liver), and caffeine stays in your blood longer rather than being excreted (it’s a toxin), so it has a greater effect for a longer period of time. In this case, caffeine is something you want to avoid (especially in larger quantities) because you’re more likely to experience caffeine cons versus the pros.

Caffeine content

Brewed coffee - 8oz = 95mg caffeine

Cold brewed coffee - 12oz = 153mg and 238mg caffeine

Decaf coffee - 8oz = 2mg caffeine

Instant coffee - 8oz = 62mg caffeine

Espresso - 1oz = 63mg caffeine

Chocolate (dark, 70-85%) - 1oz = 23 mg caffeine

Tea (green) - 8oz = 28mg caffeine

Tea (black) - 8oz = 47mg caffeine

Energy drinks - 8oz = 40mg - 316mg caffeine

Should you consume caffeine?

As you can see, that’s not a clear cut answer! Generally, in amounts less than 400mg per day, consuming caffeine is safe for most people.

Keep YOUR uniqueness in mind, and listen to YOUR body rather than just following recommendations you find online.

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